Summer is Eating Plants Saving Lives

Summertime … Eating Plants + Saving Lives

Over the July 26-28 weekend, the Greg Fund sponsored Washington D.C. conference presentations by two favorite partner organizations.

First, as part of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine, the Fund sponsored this week’s special podcast from The Exam Room™, an interview with Dr. Dean Ornish, who has guided former president Bill Clinton in his whole foods plant-based diet to reverse heart disease.

“What’s good for you is good for the planet,” Dr. Ornish said in this interview. “More global warming is caused by livestock consumption than all forms of transportation combined. So a lot of millennials and younger people are asking what they can do to make a difference in global warming and feeding the hungry, and something as primal as what we put in our mouths each day can make that difference.”

Then at the Animal Rights National Conference, the Greg Fund sponsored a Sustainable Food Policies and Climate Crisis panel organized by Barbara Troyer of Animal Place’s Food for Thought Program in collaboration with Friends of the Earth and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Panelists shared success stories of public institutions and private organizations transitioning to plant-based menus for environmental sustainability and to save animals, human health, and money.

Meanwhile White Coat Waste Project, another favorite Greg Fund partner, continued winning its campaign to protect animal survivors of taxpayer-funded experiments. On July 30, the AFTER Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate, to require that federal agencies enact policies allowing for the retirement of government lab animals. On August 2, ABC News 7 – DC WJLA reported that the NIH just finalized a lab animal adoption policy after pressure from White Coat Waste and the U.S. Congress — joining the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense in so doing. Now the USDA, EPA, NASA, Commerce, and Interior Departments need to follow.

August 2 was also a big day for Gregory and 25 other squirrel monkeys freed last year from an FDA nicotine addiction experiment thanks to pressure from a White Coat Waste Project campaign and Dr. Jane Goodall. At Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Florida, the monkeys transitioned from temporary indoor enclosures to an “almost-wild” habitat.

Also this summer, PETA’s campaign to end cruelty toward racehorses, which the Greg Fund has long supported, kept the heat on U.S. tracks from California to Maryland. On July 20, when temperatures reached the high 90s and heat indices soared above 100 degrees, tracks across the eastern and midwestern U.S. cancelled races. Monmouth Park in New Jersey was the lone holdout, running two races at mid-day.

“Heat kills, so it’s extremely foolish and reckless for Monmouth Park to stay open,” PETA senior vice president Kathy Guillermo said. “If even one horse collapses, Monmouth officials should be held criminally liable for cruelty.” At 1:30 pm, Monmouth abruptly cancelled six races and postponed six others to evening time slots, acknowledging that PETA and other animal rights activists had influenced the decision.

Last but not least, this summer the Greg Fund gave a fresh round of support to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland, an hour outside Washington D.C.

Greg and I began supporting this sanctuary for wildlife and rescued farm animals in summer 2010, and I have been a regular volunteer since 2016. Because the year 2010 was so significant in our relationship with the sanctuary, for my July birthday I created a Facebook fundraiser with $2,010 target. I met that target with the help of 40 friends, and matched it with an equal donation from the Fund — which means Poplar Spring is receiving a total of $4,020 to help cover costs for their 200+ sanctuary residents.

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